I often have cause to reflect on the serendipity that has brought us to Canberra and how, if our timings had been just a little bit different, we may never have made it here at all.
It’s three years now since our Australian residency visas were granted. Back then, after a couple of years of getting our documentation in order, gaining all the right evidence of Mrs CBRbound’s professional skills, and securing state-sponsorship from the ACT government, everything aligned in a wonderful post-Australia Day email which told us that we could start planning a life down under.
For us, the crucial piece of the jigsaw puzzle was Mrs CBRbound’s skills profile matching up with a job type on the ACT skills shortage list which is published every few months.
Every now and then, out of idle curiosity, I still go back and look at that skills list to see what our chances of getting in would be if we’d delayed things by a few extra months or years.
The simple fact is that since we came here, the Australian economy has stalled and jobs have become much scarcer than they were three years ago. As you might expect, this has resulted in many occupations being removed from the skills shortage list. As a result, I’d say that for the CBRbound family, the migration window slammed shut almost as soon as we touched down on Australian soil.
If we’d had the same thoughts and followed the same process just a year or two later, we would never have been able to come here. Perhaps the same may be true had we tried a few years earlier.
Fate can be a funny thing sometimes and, much as I might speculate occasionally about whether the exchange rate will be kinder in a year or two, or whether house prices were more favourable a few years ago, or if we could have timed things differently to mitigate the impact on the kids’ education, such thoughts are nothing more than idle wanderings of the mind.
The fact is we arrived through the only window possible for our circumstances and timings, and everything else is just window dressing.
Knowing all that we now know, would we still do it again? I think yes, except that now we wouldn’t have the opportunity and Canberra would have become the great adventure that we never went on.
Whatever the ups and downs, I’m glad we’ve done it rather than forever wondering: what if?